Publication Date

October 28, 2015

Our first year of Career Diversity for Historians has confirmed what we initially suspected: addressing the issues embedded in graduate education requires grappling with the particularities of location and institution.In order to encourage experimentation in the broadest spectrum of programs and activities, the AHA is pleased to announce the awardees of our inaugural Career Diversity for Historians Departmental Grants.

Each department will receive $3,000 from Career Diversity for Historians to fund a variety of activities aimed at broadening career horizons and opportunities for graduate students. The AHA received more than 20 applications. Our selection committee chose the five awardees based on diversity of geographic location and program size, varying levels of past work on careers for history PhDs, as well as overall merit. We hope that the 2016 grant competition will garner an even greater variety of approaches. The anticipated deadline for the 2016 Career Diversity for Historians Departmental Grants is April 1, but please check the Career Diversity for Historians website for updated information.

Soon after the AHA selection committee met, the National Endowment for the Humanities announced twin planning and implementation grants aimed at addressing the needs of the next generation of humanists. The NEH specifically called for “devising a new model of doctoral education, which can both transform the understanding of what it means to be a humanities scholar and promote the integration of the humanities in the public sphere.” We take this as evidence of the growing attention being paid to issues at the heart of doctoral education. The AHA is prepared to participate in proposals from our members. Applications are due February 17.

Congratulations to the inaugural recipients of Career Diversity for Historians Departmental Grants:

University of Missouri-Kansas City, John Herron, Project Director working with Christopher Cantwell, Assistant Professor of Public History; and Amy Brost, Director of Programs and Development

UMKC will use the grant funds to support a one-year professional development networking program for the department’s PhD students. Bringing together librarians, museum staff, and nonprofit professionals, the program aims to introduce students to the many career paths available to historians, and to put them in touch with potential employers in the Kansas City region. Over the course of the 2016-2017 academic year, the department will convene ten meetings, each led by an area professional that works in the field.

University of North Carolina, Anna Krome-Lukens, Project Director, working with Chad Bryant, Director of Graduate Study; and John Sweet, Director of Graduate Placement

UNC plans to create infrastructure to expand their alumni network; design and administer a survey of graduate students about their career goals at key moments in their graduate career; and support a student-organized conference. Grant funds will be used to fund graduate students to collect and make available the alumni and graduate student survey data. They will also use grant funds to host a graduate student organized regional conference on via “Professional Lives of Historians,” a new graduate course in professional development.

University of Washington, Purnima Dhavan, Project Director, working with Tracy L. Maschman Morrissey, Director of Academic Services

UW plans to use their existing undergraduate history fellows program as a model for developing an internship program for graduate students in their department. UW will fund a one-quarter research assistantship for a competitively-chosen ABD graduate student who will work to secure three to four permanent graduate internships with local organizations.

Texas A&M, Adam Seipp, Project Director, working with Lorien Foote, Graduate Placement Director

Texas A&M plans to use the grant funds to expand its existing programming aimed at widening career horizons for graduate students over two years. The grant will fund a professional development workshop that emphasizes careers inside and beyond the academy, subsidize an existing graduate student internship program, and bringing one to two speakers a year from non-traditional fields to College Station, TX.

University of California-Irvine, David Igler, Project Director, working with Nancy McLoughlin, Director of Graduate Studies

UCI will use the grant funds to create connections with the Humanities Commons located at UCI and with other schools in the UC system, including UCLA and UC-Riverside. They will collaborate with these institutions to develop programming for UCI graduate students, including a two-year series of workshops and speakers for graduate students focused on different career paths and skills.

We look forward to chronicling the activities and achievements of our departmental grant awardees in Perspectives on History and right here on AHA Today.

Want to hear more about Career Diversity? Join us at our annual meeting in Atlanta.

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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Emily Swafford
Emily Swafford

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor